Ahly, Zamalek face fixture congestion ahead of African Champions League semis

Mahmoud Sheleib , Monday 14 Sep 2020

The Cairo giants will have to play seven games each before traveling to Morocco for the African Champions League semis

File Photo: Zamalek's Ibrahim Hassan shoots at goal as Al Ahly's Hussein El Shahat attempts to block Photo: Reuters

Cairo duo Ahly and Zamalek will have to contend with fixture congestion before they head to Morocco for the anticipated African Champions League semi-final clashes next month.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) released its fixture list for the remainder of the Premier League, with all teams scheduled to play approximately a match every three days.

According to the released fixtures, Ahly and Zamalek will have to play seven games each in the domestic league and cup before their Champions League semi-final clashes in mid-October.

Ahly will face Wydad on 17 October in the first leg, with the second set to take place in Egypt on 23 October.

Zamalek, on the other hand, meet another Moroccan side in Raja on 18 October before hosting them in the second leg on 24 October. They are scheduled to play Haras El-Hodoud in the domestic league on 12 October, with club chairman Mortada Mansour threatening to withdraw from the game.

The White Knights' French coach Patrice Carteron on Sunday hailed as his players as "heroes" for playing 11 matches in 37 days as they bid to finish second in the league to earn a spot in next season's African Champions League.

"It is the only team in the world that played that number of games in such a short time," Carteron told a news conference after Zamalek beat El-Entag El-Harby 1-0.

"I am very proud of this group of players. They are the same group that won the Egyptian Super Cup, the African Super Cup and also reached the Champions League semifinal."

Runaway leaders Ahly are only one victory away from winning the league for a fifth straight season, with coach Rene Weiler likely to rest his key players afterwards to shift his focus to the Champions League. 

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